Profit Track 100

Alan Macdonald and his co-chairman James Walker set up Dawn Construction in 1972. The company manages large building projects, from social housing to shopping complexes, in the Scottish central belt. Initially, Dawn concentrated on competing for building contracts put out to tender. But it soon abandoned this strategy in favour of developing “partnership” arrangements with its clients, whereby it would be present throughout the planning of a project. “The margins on straight contracting are extremely tight”, says Macdonald. “We decided we were being busy fools. So we set about creating a total building service which would offer cost savings to our clients in the longer term”. Glasgow-based Dawn Group will now find land, secure planning permission, design and put up the building for its customers. It will also very often either let or run the building once it is completed. This strategy has driven profits up by 72% pa, from £1.1m in 1996 to £5.6m in 1999. Sales increased by just 25% pa in the same period to reach £57.7m. Owing to volatility in the UK property market, the company is forecasting reduced profits in 2000.

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Company details
CompanyDawn Group
ActivityBuilding contractor
Annual profit growth71.88%
Latest profits £000s5,631
Latest sales £000s57,673

If applicable:

* supplied by company † annualised figure